Sunday, March 27, 2016

Oh Lover of My Soul, You Have Filled My Heart with Greater Greater Joy

"A woman's heart must be so lost in God that a man must seek Him in order to find her.":

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."
Matthew 13:44

For the longest time, people had been telling me, just take it to God. Ask Him.  And I wanted to, but in all honesty I didn't know how. How do I know where He wants me to go? How do I know if it's Him or just my mind making things up like before? This year has already been quite an adventure.  From pages and pages of letters to God, silent dances under the stars in my church's empty parking lot, and many many tears.  Life feels like a rollercoaster of ups and downs, many which don't make sense now, and perhaps never will.  Last year, God had to let me wander into deep waters to grasp how much deeper His grace is, and ultimately how much deeper His love is. For most of my life, I've known Jesus as my God.  Last year, He became my Savior, and now my love.  It may seem crazy to talk about the Lord of Lords as my lover, but He is, and we are His bride.   As I let His grace erase my shame and heal my deepest hurts, it's opened the doors to know God in a much more intimate manner.

No one will ever understand our hearts and deepest desires the way God does, after all He made them all.  Since I've entered this chapter with Him, I've seen His provision in so many ways. Whether it's something trivial like a $10 bill the floor right outside the ice cream shop or something big like the refund check in the mail that came in the week my car broke down, He's always watching over me and providing. I see His beauty and guidance in every step. I've had multiple times when I was about to buy something at the store that wasn't quite what I was hoping for and stopped because I heard His silent nudge to wait. Sure enough, not too long later, Jesus would bring me across what I actually wanted. Little reminders, that even my silliest desires are important to Him.  I could write for my whole life and never ever run out of words to describe how amazing being in love with Jesus is.  If you don't know Him this way, let me urge you to open the door to your heart and let Him woo you. 

As a girl, my biggest dream has always been to marry one day, to find someone to love and love me back. Seeing so many of my friends now getting engaged and married makes it so much harder to be patient.  But that's what this year has proven to be about, learning patience.  Not just in relationships, but in every aspect: my dreams, my future, my music.  Patience for me has been one of the hardest things to learn, because it takes time.  As a person, who spent a good portion of my life living in my past and running a race against time, sitting still and letting God be in control is not easy.  At first, I thought patience just meant waiting it out.  I realized pretty quickly it wasn't. Patience isn't just waiting, but releasing the outcomes to Him and trusting God to do what He knows is best.  

The crazy beautiful thing is the closer I draw to God, the more tangible He becomes.  After being a grooms-woman in one of my friend's weddings, I couldn't help but repost everything wedding related on pinterest and listening to any possible love song about waiting or weddings I found on my spotify.  My best friend warned me to be careful with my daydreams, because as much as God wants to give us our desires, we don't want to obsess over it and lose focus.  But the more and more I heard these songs, the more comforted I felt. Because I no longer found myself dreaming about my future husband, but delighting myself in being Christ's bride. It's like every waltz I'd dance was being led by Jesus.  No one else may see Him, but I know He's there, because I can feel his arms around me, and there's so much peace in my soul. What He speaks in my heart resonates so deeply, I just know it's Him.  

Never in my life have I felt so loved and beautiful, as in those silent moments, spinning like a little girl with dreams of being a princess one day to the lyrics, "You are my beloved, and I am yours to keep. Take my heart forever, You have captured me." Now when I'm asked if I've prayed about whatever is going on. I can say with confidence, "yes" and really know that I have. God tends to answer us in three ways: yes, no, and wait.  So when things don't go my way, I can rest assured in what God has revealed to me already and know that He is faithful, and it will all come together as it should, but in His time.  

I can't say it all makes sense now, or that it's even easy.  I still struggle with patience, but the overwhelming peace inside I have when I let Him wrap His arms around me brings much joy despite the fear that comes with seasons of transition.  In being silent and waiting, God's been able to lead me into some beautiful new beginnings.  After twenty-two years, I started attending a different church. I've returned to helping lead worship after a five month break. I sang in our choir today! I'm helping direct my school's spring performance. I've even decided to finally return to school for a Masters degree. And my songwriting inspiration has returned.   So many things, I probably wouldn't have received or done on my own.  But He gives me courage to push past my fears and past hurts and to follow confidently.  

I think the point where it finally clicked for me was one day lying on my bed, when God asked me, "What do you fear most? ...and even if that happens, what do you know to be true?" 

"That You love me, and I am valuable."  
Then wrapping His arms around my broken self, 
He held me and whispered in my ear, 
"Then You're going to be okay."

Have patience and trust in the Lord always.  "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!"  Luke 1:45